Is Fortean Nostalgia A Reality?

stu neville

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..there's a tendency for the "believer" types to argue that "I've been studying this for 'x' years" - as though this is some sort of position of authority.
Better yet when they use this 'position of authority' to scoff at other Fortean pursuits. I know a dyed-in-the-wool UFO ETH nut who thinks people who believe in ghosts are idiots "because there's no such thing, duh!"

Again, when an interest becomes an article of faith it becomes correspondingly far more difficult to convince someone of possible alternative explanations, because you're challenging a fundamental part of their own identity.
 

Ogdred Weary

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Better yet when they use this 'position of authority' to scoff at other Fortean pursuits. I know a dyed-in-the-wool UFO ETH nut who thinks people who believe in ghosts are idiots "because there's no such thing, duh!"

Again, when an interest becomes an article of faith it becomes correspondingly far more difficult to convince someone of possible alternative explanations, because you're challenging a fundamental part of their own identity.

In my limited experience nuts and bolts UFO believers tend to be the worst in terms of fundamentalism, belligerence and intransigence, it also sounds like a small group of the already tiny cadre of British Bigfoot believers are the same. And some conspiracy theorists too, I suppose there's quite a lot of bleed over from ETH UFOs into conspiracy.

At some point everything turns into religion, including politics.
 

stu neville

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I suppose there's quite a lot of bleed over from ETH UFOs into conspiracy.
And (believe it or not) with Bigfootery, esp over here. Such mentalities always tend to cite security services as the reason their views are being 'suppressed' as opposed to most other people just thinking they're various degrees of wrong and not engaging, which is a shame as there's a fascinating kernel that's increasingly overlooked amid all the shouting.
 

Ogdred Weary

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And (believe it or not) with Bigfootery, esp over here. Such mentalities always tend to cite security services as the reason their views are being 'suppressed' as opposed to most other people just thinking they're various degrees of wrong and not engaging, which is a shame as there's a fascinating kernel that's increasingly overlooked amid all the shouting.

The Brit Bigfooters who think they are flesh and blood (as opposed to supernatural etc) all believe in some sort of conspiracy as they inevitably have to on a small, overpopulated island. I knew it was extant in the US too, just not to what extent.
 
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BS3

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Better yet when they use this 'position of authority' to scoff at other Fortean pursuits. I know a dyed-in-the-wool UFO ETH nut who thinks people who believe in ghosts are idiots "because there's no such thing, duh!"

Again, when an interest becomes an article of faith it becomes correspondingly far more difficult to convince someone of possible alternative explanations, because you're challenging a fundamental part of their own identity.

It shares a key aspect of certain types of religious belief in that it supposes the 'believer' to have access to critical information of benefit to humanity, while the forces of temporal power (the government, the military, the intelligence services etc) are doing their best to suppress it for their own nefarious reasons.

It works either way - either the government is in cahoots with 'bad' aliens (very much the post-Watergate version, there) or the government is conspiring to suppress the message of the 'good' aliens. Only the lonely, heroic figure of the ufologist (or cryptozoologist) has access to the materials of salvation; it's a model that appeals to the disenfranchised, the disappointed and people who would probably otherwise spend a lot of time writing angry letters to their local council. More to the point, the credibility of the message is enhanced by denigrating other versions of the message - in this case other branches of Forteana, or rival researchers.
 

kamalktk

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I listen to several podcasts where people call in to report various fortean phenomena they claim to have witnessed. There is still plenty of "high strangeness" (things other than the classical categories like bigfoot, ufos, typical ghosts) being reported.
 

Paul_Exeter

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I listen to several podcasts where people call in to report various fortean phenomena they claim to have witnessed. There is still plenty of "high strangeness" (things other than the classical categories like bigfoot, ufos, typical ghosts) being reported.
As I have already posted above, when a Fortean researcher gets involved with a local community or region, then all manner of high strangeness is disclosed to them, such as ghosts, road ghosts, poltergeists, werewolf/dogman/bigfoot-type creatures, UFOs, time slips, big black cats and all manner of other anomalies such as ball lightening.

I believe there is no lack of Forteana in the 21st Century, however society has changed and the internet has had a massive impact on the manner in which experiences are shared and reported. So, instead of going down the (now long shut) local pub and sharing your ghost experience you instead log on to your favourite message board.

That said, some of what was printed in that wonderful Unexplained magazine in the 1980s now looks rather hackneyed. The hole at the top of the Earth? Now I can watch a live feed from the ISS and guess what? No hole. Also, for whatever reason we are simply not getting the structured craft UFO landing and Ufonauts emerging in front of startled witnesses type of reports that were commonplace before the 1990s. Men in Black are now pretty much nonexistent, too.
 

catseye

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Right, as promised, here is Loch Ness! No monster visible, just lots and lots of increasingly tacky shops and an 'Experience' for which you had to pay £9. I was insufficiently enamoured to spend such an amount, so cannot speak about how accurate and in depth the experience may be. Besides, it was raining and we'd only really stopped to use the toilet.

And no, for all the wags out there - it's ME in the foreground and any remarks about 'I can see the monster, it's right there, look at its savage teeth!' will be met with a stony stare and I may even come round and dribble through your letterbox.
Me at loch ness.jpg
 

Mythopoeika

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Right, as promised, here is Loch Ness! No monster visible, just lots and lots of increasingly tacky shops and an 'Experience' for which you had to pay £9. I was insufficiently enamoured to spend such an amount, so cannot speak about how accurate and in depth the experience may be. Besides, it was raining and we'd only really stopped to use the toilet.

And no, for all the wags out there - it's ME in the foreground and any remarks about 'I can see the monster, it's right there, look at its savage teeth!' will be met with a stony stare and I may even come round and dribble through your letterbox.View attachment 55328
I can see Nessie!

Nessie.png
 

maximus otter

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Right, as promised, here is Loch Ness! No monster visible, just lots and lots of increasingly tacky shops and an 'Experience' for which you had to pay £9. I was insufficiently enamoured to spend such an amount, so cannot speak about how accurate and in depth the experience may be. Besides, it was raining and we'd only really stopped to use the toilet.

And no, for all the wags out there - it's ME in the foreground and any remarks about 'I can see the monster, it's right there, look at its savage teeth!' will be met with a stony stare and I may even come round and dribble through your letterbox.View attachment 55328

Keep your eyes open, woman!

Catseye-loch-ness-Fortean-04.jpg


maximus otter
 

Robbrent

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The phenomena seems to constantly adapt it's way of getting our attention, I think it's struggling a bit now as there are so many more things vying for our attention as opposed to 50 years ago.

I expect more big cat sightings all over the UK and the wild goose chases that always ensue (it must find that one hilarious) and of course ambiguous lights in the sky

We can say one thing whatever is behind it all (and I have my suspicions) has a wicked sense of humor
 

Endlessly Amazed

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As a related point to "arguing from authority" and deferring to authority, be it relevant or not: there's a tendency for the "believer" types to argue that "I've been studying this for 'x' years" - as though this is some sort of position of authority. In some cases it might be, however, in the past it could have meant as little as looking at FT, Fate and other mags/zines and maybe the occasional book. Nowadays, it can mean as little as visiting a few dubious websites and FB pages.

I met a perfectly nice lady some years ago who believed in bigfoot and possibly in British bigfoot too, she was credulous to say the least and was very keen to inform me that she had been "studying this for 30 years!"
This is a good point - and one not confined to just believers of the weird. I sometimes dip in https://www.skeptiko-forum.com and read the same rationale. I think it is part of human nature to spend time on something, even if unwisely, and then think that one has studied the topic.

As a child, I was taught that one only knew a topic when one could argue it from the different points of view. This was a revelation to me and influenced the rest of my life.
 
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Ogdred Weary

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This is a good point - and one not confined to just believers of the weird. I sometimes dip in https://www.skeptiko-forum.com and read the same rationale. I think it is part of human nature to spend time on something, even if unwisely, and then think that one has studied the topic.

As a child, I was taught that one only knew a topic when one could argue from the different points of view. This was a revelation to me and influenced the rest of my life.

I agree. There's also the issue of the arch-"skeptic" types who often wish to debunk everything, which often includes stretching known phenomena to behave in decidedly odd ways just so something isn't a UFO/ghost/whatever. There's nothing wrong with saying "I don't know."
 

Coal

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I agree. There's also the issue of the arch-"skeptic" types who often wish to debunk everything, which often includes stretching known phenomena to behave in decidedly odd ways just so something isn't a UFO/ghost/whatever. There's nothing wrong with saying "I don't know."
Although presenting as an 'arch skeptic' :cool2: I admit I'd still quite like to find something, but it’s often not hard to find a far more plausible, or more pertinately, a more likely, explanation for many Fortean events.

So while 'once' presents a non-zero chance in favour of 'some phenomenon being really past the rabbit proof fence' there are phenomena which have so often and for so long bucked the long odds, that eventually, the Bayesian inference is that sufficient accumulated absence of evidence, does start to point to evidence of absence...

That said, still here, still poking about...
 

Endlessly Amazed

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Although presenting as an 'arch skeptic' :cool2: I admit I'd still quite like to find something, but it’s often not hard to find a far more plausible, or more pertinately, a more likely, explanation for many Fortean events.

So while 'once' presents a non-zero chance in favour of 'some phenomenon being really past the rabbit proof fence' there are phenomena which have so often and for so long bucked the long odds, that eventually, the Bayesian inference is that sufficient accumulated absence of evidence, does start to point to evidence of absence...

That said, still here, still poking about...
I have had a few completely inexplicable occurrences for which there are no conventional explanations. I cannot demonstrate these to anyone else; I cannot control or exhibit these on command; yet, they still happened!

So, my self-report (let me forestall anyone who mutters the evil but necessary anecdotal word) is a single data-point, which added to all the other data points from others reporting the same phenomena, cumulatively must be dealt with. Meta-analysis rears its head as a possible process.
 

Paul_Exeter

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I agree. There's also the issue of the arch-"skeptic" types who often wish to debunk everything, which often includes stretching known phenomena to behave in decidedly odd ways just so something isn't a UFO/ghost/whatever. There's nothing wrong with saying "I don't know."
One of the ‘Uncanny‘ skeptics had a neat trick of not trying to explain the phenomenon put in front of him but rather a “look over there” response as he drew the focus away to something he could explain. This was most evident when discussing premonitions and he neatly side-stepped to talk about the little-known premonition bureau experiment instead
 

Fanari_Lloyd

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Is there a world for ‘enjoying the thought that something might be real’ while not really worrying or caring whether it is or not? It might be — it might not be. That’s the kind of nostalgic emotion I like to recreate from when I was young. It didn’t actually matter if it wasn’t real but the exercise of thinking it might be brought a lovely, tingly kind of feeling?
 

Floyd1

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Is there a world for ‘enjoying the thought that something might be real’ while not really worrying or caring whether it is or not? It might be — it might not be. That’s the kind of nostalgic emotion I like to recreate from when I was young. It didn’t actually matter if it wasn’t real but the exercise of thinking it might be brought a lovely, tingly kind of feeling?
I suppose that's what we do when we watch (some) films. 'Excapism' perhaps?
 

Fanari_Lloyd

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I suppose that's what we do when we watch (some) films. 'Excapism' perhaps?
It’s like that, although I don’t feel it so much with films.I prefer reading where I can imagine things, not have the images, voices, backgrounds etc all done for me. There’s also an element of wanting to return to a time when I felt like this I think.
 

Floyd1

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Is there a world for ‘enjoying the thought that something might be real’ while not really worrying or caring whether it is or not? It might be — it might not be. That’s the kind of nostalgic emotion I like to recreate from when I was young. It didn’t actually matter if it wasn’t real but the exercise of thinking it might be brought a lovely, tingly kind of feeling?
@EnolaGaia or @Ermintruder will come up with a far better word that no one has ever heard of
It’s like that, although I don’t feel it so much with films.I prefer reading where I can imagine things, not have the images, voices, backgrounds etc all done for me. There’s also an element of wanting to return to a time when I felt like this I think.
Agreed.
 

Ermintruder

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Is there a world for ‘enjoying the thought that something might be real’ while not really worrying or caring whether it is or not?
or @Ermintruder will come up with a far better word that no one has ever heard of

That could (provisionally) be an Endovidethetikon (but that may not be my last attempt at trying to pin it down.... some others, please, do have a go)
 

EnolaGaia

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Is there a world for ‘enjoying the thought that something might be real’ while not really worrying or caring whether it is or not? It might be — it might not be. That’s the kind of nostalgic emotion I like to recreate from when I was young. It didn’t actually matter if it wasn’t real but the exercise of thinking it might be brought a lovely, tingly kind of feeling?

It seems to me the thing you're describing lies in the vicinity of "suspension of belief" / "suspension of disbelief", though it seems you're seeking to denote the feeling one gets from such "suspension" rather than the act of suspension itself.
 
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